34-year-old first-generation American woman (born in Guatemala) accepted to MSW programs at Columbia and UT Austin
Gabby was very accomplished before we met her. She’d completed a Bachelors in International Relations and a Masters in International Studies. She’d worked for a major think tank in Washington D.C., and then with the Defense Department.
Gabby got married, moved back home to start a family, and as a working mom, began doing work with Latin American immigrants. It was different from what she did in D.C., but was rich and rewarding — and it inspired her to pursue an MSW degree.
The question that she kept coming back to was, “What am I going to do for the next 30 years?” The Art of Applying® helped her to find that answer for herself.
Start Date: October 2018 | End Date: May 2019
- Age: 34
- GPA: 3.7 (undergraduate) and 3.8 (Masters)
- School: Texas State University
- Major: International Relations, plus a Masters in International Studies
- Columbia University
- UT Austin
“I thought to myself, “You know what? I tried it once before. I wasn’t successful. I’m going to do it the right way for me, and that was to contact [The Art of Applying®] for that help because I really wanted it. And I think that’s the important thing here: I wanted it so bad and I was going to reach out to get professional help, because [there was] something I was doing wrong, why I couldn’t get it … probably more my personal essays and putting the whole package together.”
Reflections on the Breakthrough Call:
“He asked me 101 questions to get to know me better. At the end of that call, it must have been about 45 minutes, he recapped my entire life within five minutes. At that point, I’m thinking, he really listened to my life, he got it … that gave me confidence.”
Reflections on working with our team:
“That first phone call … I had circled it on my planner. I was just looking forward to just tell this consultant everything that I wanted to tell her, and we got to build a relationship. She understood where I was going. We started working on those essays, and it was hard work in the beginning, it was intense because it’s a six-week accelerator program. The process makes sense to me. Now I look at it, and the six weeks makes sense because you’re giving all you have to put together these beautiful pieces of work . . . and after the six weeks are done . . . you start tweaking other things and applying it to other applications because you’ve done the hard work. I really enjoyed it. The process, it just flowed, it made sense.”
“The way I justified it was [that] I really want this. This means a lot to me. This is going to change the next 30 years because that’s my goal for the long term. You’ve got to think of the long term goals.”
“I knew I was a good, decent writer. But what I didn’t know was how to tell my story. And that’s what I didn’t understand 10 years ago, that the story is what’s important, that the admission committee wants to see that. And the only way they’re going to see that is through that personal statement. And I think that was the piece that I was missing. And at the end of the drafts, maybe four or five drafts, I was proud of myself … I did this. This is my story. This is my life, and of course, it makes sense. You want to tell it and tell it the best way possible, that people can believe in you, that you are the right candidate for that program.”